Re: Kyoto, Driving our car (composite reply)

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 21:33:55 -0800

> From: Michael Lorrey <>


> Of course not. you fail to understand the economics of energy
> prices. Tell me, when did oil companies make the biggest
> profits????? Duh, when prices were sky high during the OPEC
> stimulated and Carter induced oil crunch of the 70's and 80's.

I'm no admirer of Carter. IMHO he's the second-best President of my
lifetime, because he was so incompetent he couldn't get his
horrible ideas implemented -- the best was Reagan because his good
ideas got in the way of Congress's horrible ideas, and in
retaliation Congress didn't approve his horrible ideas either.

But let's give the, ahem, "credit" where it's due.

It was primarily NIXON that induced the oil crunch of the 70s. (And
OPEC was more than happy to take advantage of it.) It was pretty
much over before Carter came into office. As far as I can recall
there really was no oil crunch in the 80s.

> If
> energy taxes take effect, this will increase prices, which will
> increase their margins, allowing oil execs to squeeze in more
> profits. They also will be able to wangle huge increases in
> government subsidies for energy research. Pushing oil shale scams on
> the feds was one of the biggest cash cows the oil boys perpetrated
> on the US and Canada.
> >
> > >Even if we assume that you are right about the problem, it may
> > >be that you are wrong about the solution. The fundamental need
> > >is to increase the amount of organic matter.
> >
> > Trees are stable biomass. It may be that more CO2 'bonding' can be
> > done by oceanic plankton as was noted by Michael Lorrey. However,
> > these cannot be more than temporary solutions since the global
> > emission of CO2 is increasing exponentialy and will continue to do
> > at least so for some time (there's a lot more coal to burn).
> Not so. As CO2 levels go up along with heat, and hopefully with some
> stimulation from sinking a couple thousand obsolete cargo ships (all
> that metal rusting stimulates plankton growth), that plankton will
> flourish and become a) fishfood, which will become people food,
> which will become sludge spread over the barren wastes of the
> midwest, the Sahara, etc. and b) precipitating detritus settling on
> the ocean bottom, to, over time become methane hydrate deposits. > >
> >If your solution compels poor > >people on marginal land to
> continue the agricultural practices now > >turning that marginal
> land into desert, you are being counter-productive.
> How about throwing out 100 years of counterproductive waste
> treatment "technology" and start spreading sludge over the desert???
> There are companies doing this now in Texas with New York City
> sludge (grade B sludge).
> >
> > I have no idea where you got this idea and of course it's also
> > necessary to try to foster sustainable land-use in poor countries.
> > This is just a part of a much bigger general education problem. If
> > farmers on the edge of desert can be educated about these things
> > that will be a very big plus (just as education about family
> > planning and basic health).
> At this point there is little for Mohammed Q. Sixpack in the
> sourthern Sahara can do, as the main thing draining usable soil from
> the desert's periphery is the sun and the winds. Getting Europe to
> ship its shit south would do wonders.
> >
> > >For that matter, according to some studies, if 1/100 of what
> > >Clinton proposes US businesses should pay out of their own
> > >pockets each year to cut their CO2 emissions were applied to
> > >dumping dusts of metals-rich organic chemicals into the southern
> > >oceans, we might solve the problem not only for the US, but for
> > >the entire world.
> >
> > I've heard proposals to dump animals waste (a lot of that in
> > Europe, and no-one knows what to do with it) in so-called 'oceanic
> > deserts'. These are area's in the oceans that do not contain
> > minerals (maily nitrogen) required for basic plankton life and are
> > mostly lifeless because of it. The introduction of
> > nitrogencompounds could start a whole foodchain that would bond
> > many megatons of carbon. The high cost seems not to be getting it
> > in the middle of an ocean but to get is from the farms to the
> > ships, after that: no problem.
> Except for bureaucracy. The EPA, that fountain of wise and informed
> environmental protection, has banned New York from dumping its
> sewage at sea. Any wonder that local fisheries have plummeted???
> >
> > >The major problem with that claim is that identifiable sources
> > >of possible error convert it to something on the order of "The
> > >global temperature is someplace between two degrees colder and
> > >three degrees warmer than a century ago, with the most likely
> > >value being half a degree warmer."
> >
> > The statistics are difficult, but if you superimpose temperature
> > data concerning the last 150 years from Vinnikov, Groveman and
> > sources like CRU and GISS the similaritiest are striking to say
> > the least (and so is the upward-trend). No, there's no certainty
> > yet. I do not think we can afford to wait for absolute, 100%
> > certainty.
> Almost all of the data, however, are from stations in temperate,
> tropical, or equatorial zones. There is very little data from
> subpolar and polar regions to give such statistical pools the proper
> balance. As a result the stats are merely measuring an increase in
> equatorial temperatures, while the decrease in polar temperatures
> are swamped to insignificance.
> >
> > >The other problem is that to the extent that we can track WHEN
> > >this change occurred, it appears that about 80% of the effect
> > >occurred *before* 80% of the alleged cause.
> >
> > X-cuse me? The relation between increased CO2 matches the start of
> > the industrial revolution and the relative decreasing C14
> > concentration correlated with statistical data on global usage of
> > fossile carbon.

Um... weren't we talking about TEMPERATURE change here? Last I
heard, they figured that the apparent increase in temperature in the
last 100 years mostly happened in the *first* half of that period.
But the overwhelming majority of industrial activity (including
fossil fuel usage) occurred in the *second* half of that period.

It doesn't matter how well you can prove that humans caused an
increase in CO2 levels, if you can't show that said increase actually
caused the effect you are trying to stop.

>> There is very little doubt were all this 'new'
> > carbon comes from, the extent of it's effect cannot be determined
> > yet but there are many indications that the consequences for the
> > global food production (amongst many other things) could be a big
> > problem.
> >
> > >> > We can further say with equal confidence that they were NOT
> > >> > environmental disasters in any way that we would recognise.
> > >> > That
> > >>
> > >> How can we say that? There was a happy ecosystem, yes. There
> > >> was not a happy ecosystem with agricultural humans who tend to
> > >> live near shorelines and be vulnerable to malaria in it.
> > >
> > >No significant evidence of major change in swamp area as a
> > >result of temperature changes in this range. No significant
> > >evidence of non-trivial shoreline changes. No significant
> > >evidence of changes in flooding patterns.
> >
> > Not yet, but that may very well be because there's a delay between
> > cause and effect (not unusual in large systems).

I'm talking about changes that happened tens of thousands of years
ago to millions of years ago. If the delay between cause and effect
is so large that we haven't seen the effects by now, we have
*nothing* to worry about (in this regard at least) that derives from
any human activity.
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